How much water can you carry?
1 gallon? 2? How much do you need for a whole day? do you even know how much water you use when you shower? Or when you wash your hands after going to the bathroom? Imagine having to know how much water that you are going to need for the day and then taking as many containers as you can find, piling them into a wheelbarrow, walking for maybe a kilometre to wait in a queue and pump your containers full. Then you have to push your wheelbarrow all the way back home again!
This is what the men, women and children in Bambanani Village have to do every single day.
Getting water to Skaaprus has been an ongoing issue. When Ian started working with the daycare centre he would have to travel to Carolina to fill containers every week - a round trip of 120kms just to get drinking water! Ian campaigned for water in the community and the municipality eventually installed 2 x 10,000-litre tanks which they fill every week.It is not enough and the 2 x 10,000-litre tanks in a settlement of 1000 are dry before the end of the day. In addition during the dry winter months, the borehole starts to dry up and can only be pumped for 2 hours a day. The drier moths also impact the dam which starts to dry up.Progress has been made but is by no means ideal.
Today in 2019, the community still has no running water and have to use containers and wheelbarrows to fetch their daily needs from the borehole or one of two containers.Currently, water for washing and the vegetable gardens are taken from a nearby dam by wheelbarrow, but with the open face mines being so close all natural water sources are too polluted to provide safe drinking water.
The most frustrating part of the water situation in the community is how close they are to a municipal water source.
There is a municipal water pipe with an available connection in reach of the village. Ian has already purchased all of the connection and pipes to get it to the village but the owner of the land refuses to allow the village access. The water board has requested access on the behalf of the village and we have called ourselves only to be firmly turned down.
We are unsure how to proceed in the matter at this point. We are hoping that the landowner has a change of heart and that he will be open to negotiating an arrangement.